Friday, October 16, 2015

Good Morning. It's Another 'Day of Rage' in the Middle East

 JERUSALEM- Friday morning at 4:40 the muezzin's amplified call-to-prayer heralded a freshly-declared Day of Rage.

But it's always a Day of Rage somewhere in the Muslim and/or Arab world. It's as if the civilized world was up against an Islamist theology-on-crack.

Foremost, Islam is at war with itself. 

For now, the Middle East's Western-imposed state-system is unraveling. Most noticeably, in former-Syria and former-Iraq. In Syria, Sunnis are Shiites and battling; the Shiites are backing the schismatic Alawites of Bashar Assad. The Sunnis in Syria take time out to kill each other too (ISIS versus al-Qaida-affiliated Arabs).

The Shiite Persians have arrived in the form of Iran's Revolutionary Guards. The Shiite Arabs of Hezbollah, from former-Lebanon, are on the scene to help the Alawites and Hezbollah's Persian patrons.

About 210,00 people have died in Syria.

Millions have fled or been dislocated. Tens of thousands have now made their way to Europe. 

Compare what is happening in Syria to the ongoing 100-year-long Arab-Zionist conflict.

"Israeli police kill more Palestinians in Jerusalem. Latest killings bring death toll to 32 as Israel orders deployment of soldiers and sets up checkpoints," according to Al Jazeera (whose reporting, incidentally, is hardly less egregious than the BBC's or CNN's, the wire services or, on an average day, The New York Times').  

Even if that number were accurate, and even if most of the "32" were not killers or foiled murderers – all of them died because of Arab-initiated violence.

Notwithstanding seeing what Islamist and Arab fanaticism has wrought in the surrounding countries – and despite enjoying a comparative utopia under Jewish "occupation" the Palestinians as a society have again embraced militant intransigence and terrorist violence.

It might as well be 1929 all over again, given the nonsensical claims that the Jews want to destroy Muslim shrines on the Temple Mount.

Could someone please tell the Palestinians to open their eyes; to set aside blind rage  and feel around for reality.

In former-Yemen, Shiite Houthis are battling Saudi-backed Sunnis; al-Qaida Sunnis are fighting all the Shiites and select Sunnis too. 

Saudi Arabia is on the outs with al-Qaida after having provided some of its initial start-up capital.  The Saudis are bombing the Shiites in Yemen. The Islamic State (Sunni) wants to capture Yemen as part of its Caliphate. The Persians (who fancy a Shiite Persian-led Caliphate) are backing the Houthi Arabs.

Some 6,000 people have been killed in the latest round of the long-running Yemen conflict.

Head-spinning! No wonder it is just easier to stand in "solidarity with Palestine" as opposed to actually understanding the nature of unrest in the Middle East.

Israel is a comparative oasis. From the Mediterranean to the River Jordan the "occupied" Palestinians (citizens and non-citizens) are safer, freer, and economically better-off than their compatriots in Syria, Iraq, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Syria – and in the Hamas-controlled Gaza (a noxious petri-dish experiment for Palestinian statehood).

The main population centers in the West Bank are self-administered by the Arabs. Until the second intifada's suicide bombings, a Palestinian could drive from Ramallah to Tel Aviv for lunch.

I suppose the Palestinian Arabs are lucky to have the Jews as their enemies. This brings them support from Europe's "liberals" and leftists, from its rightists and fascists. The Persians and Turks (who have no particular love for the Arabs or each other) can agree to champion the Palestinians.

On Thursday, nearly 50 worshippers were killed in a Nigerian mosque by Boko Haram – formerly acolytes of al-Qaida now siding with a more winning horse, ISIS.

So far, some 17,000 Nigerians have been killed and about 2.5 million made homeless due to Muslim-on-Muslim violence.

There are 57 members of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation – 57 countries that seek to be regarded as Muslim political societies! 

But God help Israel for asking the Palestinians to recognize it as a Jewish state. Of OIC members 22 are also members of the Arab League, though some are not genuine states (Palestine) and others are failed and unraveling polities (Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen etc.). 

The Palestinians might also consider what's going on in some of the more prominent non-Arab Muslim states: Iran, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. Pakistan, for instance, has been helping to orchestrate the upheaval in Afghanistan. Iran is the world's top champion of anti-civilian warfare. Its nuclear program threatens the entire region. Afghanistan is a hopeless non-state and a roach motel for terrorist groups seeking a base of operations.

Is that really what Palestinians want for the West Bank? 

While "32" Palestinians have purportedly died at the hands of the Jews in "occupied" Palestine and "occupied" Jerusalem, elsewhere this week Muslims have bombed Muslims in Turkey and Chad taking scores more lives. And unlike the "32" it is unlikely any of these dead tried to stab anyone or blow anyone up or run their cars into anyone waiting for a bus.

This week, the murky picture of who was responsible for the 1988 destruction of Pan Am flight 103 got a bit clearer. It seems new evidence ties the former head of Libya's intelligence service and his top bomb-maker to the crime. It is not clear if Libya was subcontracting for Iran or acting on its own.

All this is just part of the context for today's Palestinian day of rage.

The rage began even before daybreak when Palestinians rampaged through Joseph's Tomb (a Jewish shrine) in Palestinian Authority-controlled Nablus. Shamefacedly, Mahmud Abbas has denounced the attack – which obviously detracts from his canard that Muslim shrines under Israeli jurisdiction are endangered.

The Arabs have tried pan-Arabism and Arab nationalism and regular nationalism; now they're back to pan-Islam.

Bottom line: The Palestinian Arab struggle against Israel is hardly about "settlements" or the "occupation" or the Temple Mount or "east" Jerusalem. It is not aimed at creating a Palestinian state "alongside" Israel.

Nor is it about Palestinian "frustration" or the lack of a "peace process" (see my Oct. 9, 2015 post).

It is about the refusal of Islamists to allow any other people a slice of sovereign space anywhere in the Middle East.

Israel's dovish journalists / analysts seem momentarily gutted over Abbas's deportment; particularly his transparent lie claiming that Israel has a methodical policy of "extrajudicial" killings of innocent Arab children, women, and men in the guise of self-defense. 

The lame-stream press has sought to Photoshop Abbas's mendacity employing headlines such as: "Conflicting Accounts of Jerusalem Strife Surround a Wounded Arab Boy;" and referring to stabbers as "suspects." 

The New York Times reports (ahem) that Israeli officials "jumped" on Abbas's "apparent misstatement."

But the Israeli dovish media is not willing to give Abu Mazen a pass .. at least for now even if the apparent, alleged, purported, suspected Times is.

Few doubt that the latest outbreak of Palestinian violence has been "spontaneous."

Though the combustible environment for the spontaneity was made inevitable by Abbas's Fatah. Abbas himself said Jews had been defiling the Temple Mount. That's a message Palestinians have been hearing also from Hamas, Islamic Jihad, the Palestinian Knesset Caucus, Raed Salah's so-called northern branch – in short, from their entire Palestinian Arab leadership.

They've been abetted by "Palestine's" semi-official Fatah and Hamas media. (Some of the Fatah media is actually funded by EU monies.)

Thus, it is in this context that the current uprising is taking place. Young Palestinians are echoing in their social media the messages heard in their mosques, from their elders, and from political elites.

The need for Jews to defend themselves effectively and efficiently has left not only the State Department spokesman uncomfortable over "excessive" use of force, it has left some Diaspora Jews even more discomfited. 

Some of the uncomfortable are wondering why the Diaspora Jewish establishment is not treating both sides -- Israelis and Palestinians -- in a evenhanded manner. 

After all, in their world there is no "right or wrong;" such notions are passe. 

In other circles it is fashionable in a sort of smug, willful way, to embrace naiveté and talk about feeling the pain of the enemy. 

On this Day of Rage though, what Israelis are in practice nervous about and some are feeling is an enemy knife in the stomach. 

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